[Axie] February Dev Update!
The Origin team is pushing as hard as possible to ensure an awesome experience for you all and we’re aiming to release an Alpha by the end of March.
We are making significant progress on land and the new art style is starting to shine!
The RON token launch was smooth. It’s time to build!
Can you feel it? There’s an excited, enthusiastic, deliberate energy emerging within the Axie Infinity ecosystem. Community members all around the world are passionately contributing to Axie in countless ways. Additionally, the pace is picking up within the Sky Mavis team, and all of the hard work that’s been happening for months behind the scenes is starting to emerge. We are incredibly excited to see such a powerful collective commitment to our mission. There’s so much to share, so let’s get on with it!
🌋 Axie Infinity: Origin
The response to our recently released Origin sneak preview has been tremendous, thanks for all of the love and support! While there’s so much we’re excited to share with everyone, all of us at Sky Mavis love surprises too, so this month’s Origin update will be brief! However, everyone seems to be in love with the green, handsomely mustached plant Axie… so, we’d like to take a moment to introduce you to Olek:
Olek is a veteran warrior with a lifetime of fighting experience, who recently retired to become a turnip farmer. Since most of his body is plant-based, Olek has the ability to bury himself into the ground which allows him to absorb the soil’s nutrients and heal his injuries.
One of Olek’s most distinctive characteristics is the large scar on his back, which he acquired as he protected his fallen comrade during a ferocious battle many years ago. During this fight, Olek leaped in front of his friend just as a Chimera viciously attacked, nearly killing Olek in the process. He was ultimately saved by his trusty helmet, which he still wears to this day, despite it’s rust and misshapen nature.
Olek is a brave, calm, and patient teacher who loves to share his knowledge with others. It’s no surprise that he was tasked to mentor and train the next generation of Frontier soldiers. His goal is to ensure that each of his students passes the Maturity Ceremony, which is the final evaluation that demonstrates an Axie’s ability to meet all Frontier soldier standards.
Olek is regularly attempting to flirt with the ladies, but it never seems to go quite as planned. Most of the time his students end up saving him and everyone around from further embarrassment!
Olek is one of the three initial “starter Axie” and is a leading character throughout the Origin adventure. He has distinctive cards that you’ll be able to play alongside his two students Buba and Puffy, as they adventure into the Lunacia forest and discover a surprising set of circumstances. Along the way, they’ll build new relationships, and face incredible danger as they attempt to discover the cause of the unusual disturbance affecting everything around them.
Everyone on the Origin team is pushing incredibly hard to refine, polish, and prepare this experience for you all, which we’re aiming to release by the end of next month. Stay tuned!
All of the talk and focus around the impending release of Origin hasn’t distracted a rapidly growing team responsible for developing Project K! They have been hard at work over the past month, improving the core economic features within the game engine. They have also started a sprint around non-player character (NPC) mechanics that will be included within the initial release.
We were excited to see that a number of people and land holders within our Discord #land channel compiled a great list of questions for the development team to answer. Thanks for doing this! We’d like to start responding to some of those in various places, including development updates and our social media channels. As a reminder, please note that all of this information is subject to change as we go through the production process. Let’s get started:
What are the main changes that needed to be reworked which caused the delay in release, other than the move to 3D?
The delayed release is mostly a byproduct of limited team personnel in 2021. While we now have a new full time Game Designer and Art Director for Project K, it took considerable time to find the right fit for these roles and we only gained more funding in the latter half of the year. However, throughout this recruitment process, we made considerable progress developing many of the art assets and underlying code base that doesn’t need to be remade as we switch towards the new game perspective.
When was the decision to go from 2D to 3D made?
Members of the team have long believed that the game would be best as rendered 3D, but mostly influenced by strategic new hires, we officially made the switch last September.
Can you provide any details about land management?
There will be multiple phases to Project K’s release, but the first test phase will primarily be focused around building up one’s Land in a town-building type game, hence it will only be available to Land Owners. This will involve harvesting and trading resources as well as building and upgrading structures. The focus for this initial phase will be validating our base Land game systems and making sure it all works with a more limited gamer group. There won’t be any token or on-chain gameplay involved, and resources are not planned to be tokenized. The plan is to introduce a new Land-based token resource in the future though. Land Owners will be able to use off-chain “Pawn” Axies in the game to carry out tasks on their Land. Land Items will not have any of their buffs active in Phase 1 but their updated buffs will be introduced in later Phases of Land.
Will there be battles at all in Land's first version?
A major component of the initial gameplay will be selling crafted materials to NPCs, who will do battle across Land. As we progress in our user testing, we are looking to incorporate AXS into this game loop, and Land owners will be able to start earning AXS.
Stay tuned for more information over the days to come! We’re actively working on developing a refreshed set of materials which will go a long way to answering most of these questions. We feel that it’s important to lay down a number of conceptual foundations to properly inform the community’s questions, so a lot of our focus is on this.
That being said, we do want to share an in-game screenshot with you all! We wanted to give you a sense of the scale we’re imagining for the initial release of the game. The land plots have grown from when you’ve last seen them, each measuring 128x128 sectors. It’s all coming together!
⚔️ Season 20
As we’ve detailed previously, we are iteratively balancing both the gameplay and the economy underneath Battles V2 on multiple fronts. Balance is incredibly complicated to achieve, but we increasingly believe that effectively leveraging the community’s “crowd wisdom” is a key strategy going forward. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility with our outreach experiments, and we’re using your feedback to inform the design of more sophisticated infrastructure to engage one another. We’ll be implementing this tech in support of current and future games within the ecosystem.
Additionally, the community response to our first round of 2022 esports grants has been tremendous. Over 60 tournaments are either underway or planned for the first half of the year!
Our 2022 Global Tournament season kick off was hosted by LOOT Squad on January 29th. Congratulations to Disi from YGG who won the grand prize! An upcoming sample of tournaments include:
Kapital DAO Tournament on February 20th
Axie BEAT Invitational hosted by BEAT Esports on February 26th
BGG Pros Tournament hosted by the Blockchain Game Gang on February 26th
Our 2022 Regional Tournament season begins on March 1st with the The 3rd Katsutaro Cup located in Japan. Going forward, there are close to 40 tournaments within every major region of the world, and opportunities for everyone to compete for AXS and bragging rights.
We are maintaining a complete schedule of all 1H 2022 esports events, continuously updated with the latest signup information. Good luck!
All hands are on deck for the Alpha soft launch release of Axie Infinity: Origin.
A gameplay trailer is in production that will show off Origin’s slick upgrades and drive new audiences toward our community.
Our user growth partner, Upptic, has been onboarded smoothly and is currently working on creative banners, images, and clips that will help introduce Axie to an entirely new audience.
We recently welcomed regional leads for Latam and The Philippines. Welcome Nix and Lima!
We’ve seen an overwhelming response to the Builders Program. As mentioned here though, we are looking to update and expand on some of the terms of the program before accepting participants which will take some time. Stay tuned!
We have onboarded an events partner to help us execute our first large-scale gathering with the community. Stay tuned for updates!
We have completed our launch post for Origin and are in the process of adding beautiful graphics as a finishing touch!
The economic balancing changes implemented with Season 20 have reduced the amount of SLP earned through the game each day by around 60%.
So far, 131,669 Axies have been released through the Lunar New Year releasing event. This was a landmark experiment that proved to the world that our community is willing to release their precious Axies for cosmetic items. This will be one of many key levers of economic balance in the future.
Our Twitter account is nearing 920,000 followers. Let’s hit 1 million!
February 18th was Axie’s 4th birthday. It’s been an honor to create a new type of game with you and we would have never gotten so far without our passionate community building alongside us.
Our new Game Product Lead, Philip La, shared his thoughts on the future of the Axie economy here:
We were happy to smoothly deliver the RON token to the community! If you haven’t already, make sure to read the Litepaper which goes over the vision for Ronin and why we think it’ll be important to the future of gaming.
We’re ecstatic that there are already 830,000 accounts that own the RON token on the Ronin blockchain.
Over the last few weeks we’ve seen:
- An average of ~134805 paid transactions/day using RON.
- An average of ~867609 free transactions/day.
This spread between subsidized vs. free transactions is a bit too skewed towards free transactions. We’re currently looking at ways to reduce reliance on transaction subsidies in a way that will increase the utility of RON within the ecosystem. The wide ownership of RON within the community makes us believe that we can start scaling down the free transaction program smoothly.
How would we do this? Our current thinking involves removing the free transaction bonuses for non-supply capped NFTs within our ecosystem (such as normal Axies). These bonuses are unsustainable in the long run as the free-gas RPC will eventually be overrun as the supply of Axies grows to match demand from a new audience of gamers. We are considering keeping transaction bonuses for rare NFTs within the ecosystem but moving to a model where the free transactions are calculated on a monthly basis and more limited in scope. We hope to push out a change to this system in February or March but are waiting for a final confirmation of the implementation timeline from the engineering team.
🛠️ Sky Mavis
We’ve received a fair bit of positive feedback when we’ve shared details around Sky Mavis’ internal workings in past developer updates, alongside your encouragement to continue. With that said, it’s likely challenging for most recent community members to keep our history in perspective. Around six months ago, Sky Mavis had approximately 38 team members. As of the time of sharing this update, we’re now 106 strong, and the growth has been consistent: onboarding around 10 new employees a month. The organization anticipates growing to approximately 200 employees by the end of 2022. This incredible growth wouldn’t have been possible without our world-class human resources and recruitment team!
Sky Mavis has grown into a series of departments, of which today >75% is focused around product design and development (including art and engineering). The operations department houses most business related tasks such as business development and financial management, and the growth department includes marketing, community and ecosystem development.
As you’ve likely seen, we’re continuously on the lookout for top notch talent who are committed to our mission! We are currently on the lookout for over 20 different types of team members, so if you feel like you can contribute, please take a look at the job board and reach out to us!
Disclaimer: Please note that anything written in this document should not be taken as financial advice. Axie is a bleeding-edge game that's incorporating unfinished, risky, and highly experimental technology. Development priorities, roadmap, and features are subject to radical overhaul based on research, traction, feedback from the community, and a myriad of other factors.